I'm an astronomer, science writer, and musician based in Dundee, Scotland. On this website, now into its 17th year, you'll find about 15,000 pages of information divided into four major encyclopedia – of science, alternative energy and sustainable living, history, and science for children. Another encyclopedia, of music, can be found at my Songs of the Cosmos website. There are links to all these resources on this page.
Also on this page, down the right-hand side, you'll see listed many of my books and my music album, together with links to them at Amazon. Most of the books are available in print or Kindle format; the album can be downloaded or streamed from all major digital platforms, including iTunes and Spotify.
Many thanks for stopping by. For daily updates, please follow me on Facebook and Twitter
New edition of my Extraterrestrial Encyclopedia, coauthored with Dirk Schulze-Makuch
The first edition of The Extraterrestrial Encyclopedia was published in 2000. Now, 16 years later, a new edition is available in hardback, paperback, and e-book form from Amazon and all major booksellers. The new edition incorporates all the changes and developments in subjects related to the search for life in the universe that have taken place since the book first came out, including the discovery of more than 2,000 planets around other stars, new missions to planets, moons, and smaller objects in the Solar System, breakthroughs in research connected with the origins of life and the extreme conditions under which organisms can survive. The Extraterrestrial Encyclopedia, however, goes beyond the modern science of life in the universe, and includes the history of thought on the subject, popular speculations, and fictional portrayals of alien life from early times to the present day.
Extracts from Songs of the Cosmos
Now out in paperback: Mayday!
Some reviews of my book Mayday!, about amazing pioneering aviators. Available on-line (Amazon, etc) and from bookstores everywhere. (Note this is the paperback edition of what was previously titled The Rocket Man.)
"Intriguing and entertaining." -- Daily Mail (Sep 18, 2005)
"Darling provides an eclectic collection of aviation biographies in this delightful salute to a series of largely overlooked flight pioneers. Reaching back to trend-setting balloonist Sophie Armant, who was an early nineteenth-century celebrity until her fiery end, Darling then highlights a multitude of unsung heroes, including the inspiration for The Great Waldo Pepper (1975); the original X-Men (as in the men who flew the sound barrier–busting X-planes); and William Weaver, the Lockheed test pilot who survived the breakup of his SR-71 at a speed of Mach 3 and an altitude of 15 miles. An inspirational text full of can-do spirit,... will be well received by aviation aficionados and armchair adventurers everywhere." – Booklist
"Gripping... dazzling tales of madness and derring do." – Brian Clegg, author of Inflight Science.
'David Darling has cleverly avoided wheeling out all the old familiar names... a rollicking, rip-roaring tale. 4 stars.' – Popular Science
"Impressive." Wall Street Journal
"A mix of good old-fashioned silliness and some fine science writing." – BBC Focus
Songs of the Cosmos contains 11 tracks – nine original compositions and two covers – some of them loosely based on ideas that I've written about in my books over the years together with personal thoughts and reflections. The songs range from progressive rock to acoustic ballads. Check out some samples here. Available to download from iTunes, Amazon, and many other on-line music stores.
Don't Know Where I'm Goin' (5:01)
Hold Your Body (Next to Mine) (4:38)
Long Way to Go (3:52)
Dark Energy (3:32)
The One Song (4:33)
Hey Dreamer (3:26)
Mirror On My Soul (4:03)
Lose Yourself (5:12)
You've Got the Sun in Your Life (4:43)
Personnel: David Darling (vocals, acoustic guitar); Miroslaw Hodun: (arrangements, keyboards, misc. instruments); Julie Cleave (backing vocals); Simon Kennedy (guitar), Fraser Adam (bass); Scott Donald (drums); Graeme Watt (studio recording and mastering).
For science news and comments throughout the day, check out my FB page.